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Katō Shrine is located in Kumamoto Castle which is where the local daimyō (territorial ruler) Lord Katō Kiyomasa is enshrined. Formerly named the
Nishikiyama Shrine and built in 1871, the shrine was reconstructed in 1877 after it was burned during the Satsuma Rebellion, the shrine was moved around a few times before finding it's permanent spot in Kumamoto Castle in 1962. Along with Katō Kiyomasa, Ōki Kaneyoshi and Kin Kan (retainers of Katō) are also enshrined.
The Shrine hosts many festivals, including a Spring Festival in April, a Summer Festival and a festival for Katō Kiyomasa in July, and monthly ceremonies. There are a few memorials, including the Taiko Bridge (gifted from Korea), a washbasin that belonged to Ōki Kaneyoshi, a flag holding stone from Nagoya (connected to the invasion of Korea), small shrines for Sarutahiko-kami, Sugawara Michizane, Ookuninushi-kami and Ebisu-kami. It is often said the best place to enjoy the shrine is from one of the higher buildings of Kumamoto Castle. As a staple on our Southern Japan tours and grand tours, Kato Shrine is an excellent spot for families and samurai aficionado's alike to enjoy!
Well fortified hilltop castle; several original wooden buildings remain
Former home to the Hosokawa Clan, one of Japan's most powerful Samurai Families
Largest active volcano in Japan and one of the largest in the world
Prosperous former castle town; Now economic center of Kumamoto Prefecture